7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Lydia


A woman of Thyatira, residing at Philippi in Macedonia, and dealing in purple cloths. She was not a Jewess by birth, but had become a proselyte to Judaism and "worshipped God." She was led by the grace of God to receive the gospel with joy; and having been baptized, with her household, constrained Paul and his fellow-laborers to make her house their home while at Philippi, Ac 16:14,40. See PHILIPPI.

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(1.) Eze 30:5 (Heb Lud), a province in the west of Asia Minor, which derived its name from the fourth son of Shem (Ge 10:22). It was bounded on the east by the greater Phrygia, and on the west by Ionia and the AEgean Sea.

(2.) A woman of Thyatira, a "seller of purple," who dwelt in Philippi (Ac 16:14-15). She was not a Jewess but a proselyte. The Lord opened her heart as she heard the gospel from the lips of Paul (Ac 16:13). She thus became the first in Europe who embraced Christianity. She was a person apparently of considerable wealth, for she could afford to give a home to Paul and his companions. (See Thyatira.)

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Ac 16:13-15. Paul's first European convert. A Jewish proselyte ("which worshipped God".) In attending the means of grace at Philippi, Lydia received the blessing. Many women, and among them Lydia, resorted to the place by the river Gangites or Gaggitas "where prayer was wont to be made"; possibly a proseuchee was there, "the meeting place of Jewish congregations in Greek cities" (Winer), or "a place of prayer as opposed to a synagogue or house of prayer" (Conybeare and Howson, Life of Paul). For quietness and freedom from interruption it was "outside of the gate" (so the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus manuscripts read instead of "out of the city"), and "by the river side" for the sake of the ablutions connected with the worship. The seashore was esteemed by the Jews a place most pure, and therefore suited for prayer; at their great fast they used to leave their synagogues and pray on every shore in Tertullian's (de Jejun. 16) time; see also Josephus Ant. 14:10, section 23.

Luke describes here with the vividness of an eye witness, Women, as in many of our own congregations, formed the greater part of the worshippers; their employment as dyers brought them together in that vicinity. Lydia belonged to Thyatira in Asia Minor, where inscriptions relating to a "guild of dyers" there confirm Luke's accuracy. Paul arrived early in the week, for "certain days" elapsed before the sabbath. Paul, Silas, and Luke "sat down" (the usual attitude of teachers) to speak to the assembled women. Lydia was one of the listeners (eekouen), and "the Lord opened her heart (compare Lu 24:45; Ps 119:18,130) that she attended unto the things spoken of Paul" (Luke modestly omits notice of his own preaching). The Greek (elaloumen) implies conversational speaking rather than set preaching. Her modesty and simplicity beautifully come out in the narrative. She heartily yields to her convictions and is forthwith baptized, the waters of Europe then first being sacramentally used to seal her faith and God's forgiveness in Christ.

She leads her "household" to believe in, and be baptized as disciples of, the same Saviour. This is the first example of that family religion to which Paul often refers in his epistles (1Co 1:11,16; 16:15; Ro 16:5; Phm 1:2). First came her faith, then her leading all around her to Christ, then her and their baptismal confession, then her love evidenced in pressing hospitality (Heb 13:2; 1Pe 4:9; 1Ti 5:10), finally her receiving into her house Paul and Silas after their discharge from prison; she was not "ashamed of the Lord's prisoners, but was partaker of the afflictions of the gospel." Through Lydia also the gospel probably came into Thyatira, where Paul had been forbidden to preach it at the earlier time, for God has His times for everything (Ac 16:6; Re 2:18). Thyatira being a Macedonian colony had much contact with Philippi, the parent city. Lydia may have been also one of "those women who laboured with Paul in the gospel" at Philippi (Php 4:3).

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A seller of purple-dyed garments at Philippi, probably a widow and a 'proselyte of the gate' (see art. Nicolas), whom St. Paul converted on his first visit to that city, together with her household, and with whom he and his companions lodged (Ac 16:14 f., 40). She was of Thyatira in the district of Lydia, the W. central portion of the province Asia, a district famed for its purple dyes; but was doubtless staying at Philippi for the purpose of her trade. She was apparently prosperous, dealing as she did in very fine wares. It has been held that Lydia is the proper name of this woman; but it seems more likely that it merely means 'the Lydian,' and that it was the designation by which she was ordinarily known at Philippi. She is not mentioned (at least, by that name) in St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians, and unless we identify her with Euodia or Syntyche, she had probably left the city when the Apostle wrote; for a conjecture of Renan's, see art. Synzygus. The incident in Ac 16 is one example out of many of the comparatively Independent position of women in Asia Minor and Macedonia.

A. J. Maclean.

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Lydia, Lyd'ia Lydians. Lydi'ans


Lydia. Lyd'ia

A disciple of Thyatira

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(land of Lydus), a maritime province in the west of Asia Minor bounded by Mysia on the north, Phrygia on the east, and Caria on the south. It is enumerated among the districts which the Romans took away from Antiochos the Great after the battle of Magnesia in B.C. 190, and transferred to Eumenus II. king of Pergamus. Lydia is included in the "Asia" of the New Testament.


LYDIA, a woman of Thyatira, a seller of purple, who dwelt in the city of Philippi, in Macedonia. She was converted to the faith by St. Paul, and both she and her family were baptized. She offered her house to the Apostle, and pressed him to abide there so earnestly, that he yielded to her entreaties. She was not a Jewess by birth, but a proselyte, Ac 16:14-15,40.

2. LYDIA, an ancient celebrated kingdom of Asia Minor, which, in the time of the Apostles, was reduced to a Roman province. Sardis was the capital.

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